"Thank you for the Rockbjörnen"

Abba girls Agnetha and Frida together again for top Swedish music award

ROCKBJÖRNEN

Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, the female half of Abba, made a surprise visit to the Stockholm rock venue Cirkus last night to be presented with Rockbjörnen, the prestigeous annual music prize awarded by the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

The two women were greeted with a massive roar of applause as they stepped onto the stage to receive the prize for “lifetime achievement”.

“We’re feeling really nostalgic tonight,” said an emotional Agnetha.

When Swedish journalist and music critic Per Sinding-Larsen announced that Abba had won the award the crowd gasped in expectation.

Then, after a dramatic pause, the two women emerged from the wings.

When the applause showed no sign of dying down, Anni-Frid, 63, was forced jokingly to appeal for calm. “Now you really must be quiet,” she said.

Agnetha, 58, is only rarely seen in public nowadays but last night she made an exception for the readers of Aftonbladet.

And she was in sparkling good mood.

“So many shared memories”

“For the most part, we’ve been chatting about money tonight,” she joked when asked what she and Anni-Frid had found to talk about during their surprise get-together.

But then she added:

“No, actually we’ve been getting nostalgic together. The two of us have so many shared memories. And we feel enormously proud, but humble that a new generation is listening to our music all over again. You never get tired of it. We’ve never had time to become blasé. We’re just as nervous tonight as when we used to go on stage all those years ago.”

“It’s fantastic”

Anni-Frid, clutching her own Rockbjörn, or Rock Bear in english, broke in: “It’s fantastic after 35 years to still be appreciated by people all over the world.”

When Sinding-Larsen asked if they had any amusing memories of their time in Abba, the two women started laughing.

“We can’t go into that here,” said Anni-Frid. “But they were mostly concerned with a washing basin and wigs. That’ll have to be an Aftonbladet picture puzzle.”

At the party after the gala the main topic of conversation among guests was the surprise appearance… expecially that of Agnetha Fältskog.

ABBA were reunited for pictures at the première of the film of “Mamma Mia!” this summer, but it has been a good many years since Agnetha could be persuaded to take centre stage in public.